May 13, 2009

This Issue
Vol. 28, Issue 31
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Free products on the Web help teachers across the middle school curriculum develop literacy.
Amid the recession, many assessments are getting cut back, though districts are trying to spare those that diagnose problems.
Districts examine their plans for how they would educate students during extended school closures.
The prospect of sharing in the $100 billion in federal economic-stimulus aid has companies unleashing their sales pitches.
News in Brief
Report Roundup
News in Brief
Report Roundup
News in Brief
Report Roundup
The methods that matched students’ cultures yielded better scores.
Law & Courts
Some educators express fears that opening Advanced Placement classes to all interested students could affect the quality of the program.
Reform advocates seize on results to bolster their goal of toughening NCLB accountability at the high school level.
An education professor has been trying to peddle lessons from the high-achieving country to U.S. publishers for more than a decade.
A federal study has found three reading-comprehension programs had no positive impact while a fourth had a negative effect on student achievement.
School officials were still grappling late last week with the practical consequences of the closures, such as the disruption to spring standardized testing and its effect on state and federal accountability demands.
Some in Congress voice support for a state-driven initiative, while remaining wary of an explicit federal role.
Policy Brief
A decision could flesh out when parents of a child with disabilities can seek to recover costs for private school services.
President Obama would eliminate a dozen Education Department programs, even as overall K-12 aid swells under the stimulus.
In naming Tony Miller to fill the No. 2 slot at the U.S. Department of Education, President Barack Obama has turned to a manager with extensive business experience as the department tackles the challenge of overseeing some $100 billion in economic-stimulus aid to education.
Louisiana's governor delivered a sobering message to lawmakers, repeatedly warning that the tough economic times will force the state to “do more with less.”
Capitol Recap
In Detroit, a curriculum requires elementary pupils to do the work actual scientists do.
Gary W. Phillips writes, "It would be unthinkable to try to monitor the economy if businesses in every state were allowed to have their own accounting standards. In education, however, this is exactly what we do have for our students and schools."
David Burns writes, "While there is little dispute about the importance of the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and math, we must consider beauty, art, invention, and imagination."
S.G. Grant writes, "Test scores may provide an easy accounting system, but one without much in the way of genuine accountability."
Letters
Jack Jennings, Caitlin Scott, & Nancy Kober write, "Hope should not be pinned on a single restructuring plan."
FOUNDATION SUPPORT: Coverage of specific topics in Education Week is supported in part by grants from the Annenberg Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Spencer Foundation, the Wallace Foundation, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The newspaper retains sole editorial control over the content of the articles that are underwritten by the foundations.

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